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Comic Books

Mom and Dad are Rats

Canadian artist and writer Eric Orchard makes quite a big splash with his first graphic novel, Maddy Kettle: The Adventures of the Thimblewitch. This is from Previews: “Maddy is an eleven year old girl with a pet toad named Ralph. And they’re on a rather big adventure right now, as her parents are currently kangaroo rats – having been put under a spell. On their way to find the Thimblewitch to sort everything out, they battle Spider Goblins and befriend two endearing Cloud Mappers, Harry the bear and Silvio the raccoon, who help them get where they’re going. We won’t tell you what happens next, but we can assure you that it’s a beautiful and magical ride.” Top Shelf Productions will release this full-color all-ages fantasy in trade paperback this October.

image c. 2014 Top Shelf

image c. 2014 Top Shelf Productions

The Girl and Her Wolf Ride Again

If you haven’t already, you might want to make yourself familiar with Fairy Quest by Paul Jenkins (story) and Humberto Ramos (art). After selling out of their original trade paperback, Fairy Quest: Outlaws, Jenkins and Ramos ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to continue the story. And now Boom! Studios have picked up that continuation as a new full-color series, Fairy Quest: Outcasts. In the magical land of Fablewood, all the myths and legends of old must live their lives by the dictates of their Story — else the evil Think Police will wipe their minds clean. Now, Red Riding Hood and Wolf have broken the law — by becoming good friends. The first issue of Outcasts will hit the shelves this October. Check it out at Previews.

image c. 2014 Boom! Studios

image c. 2014 Boom! Studios

Far Less Serious Bunnies

Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land. Somehow you just know what something with a title like that is going  to be like, yes? Well you’re right. “Take some time for an adventure to a magical world with two cute bunnies… two foul mouthed, drug using, butt-naked bunnies that go on adorably offensive, insultingly hilarious adventures! Your journey into off-color fun begins here, with this mix of Adventure Time and underground comix!” It’s written and illustrated in full color by Australian underground cartoonist Dean Rankine, and brought to us thanks to Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint. Check out their Facebook page. Oh, and speaking of Danger Zone, they’ve also released the first four issues of Bo, Plushy Gangsta (by Pavel Balabanov) in a trade paperback, Kingdom of Bo.

image c. 2014 Danger Zone

image c. 2014 Danger Zone

Heroes on a Scratching Post

Action Lab Entertainment has a new full-color comic book series for young readers, Hero Cats. “Avengers and Justice League move over! The cutest heroes on the planet have arrived! Meet the Hero Cats of Stellar City in this spectacular first issue. Not your ordinary house cats, they’re a tactical action-packed covert team dealing with extraordinary threats to humanity in ways that will amaze.” Two issues out so far, all brought to you by writer Kyle Puttkammer and illustrator Marcus Williams. There’s an official web site of course, showing off several cover variations and tie-in posters available.

image c. 2014 Action Lab Entertainment

image c. 2014 Action Lab

All the Worlds and a Rabbit

The big-name comic book publishers like to do things big. Really big: Whole universes have been made and destroyed on a regular basis. Now DC Comics is on the move again with The Multiversity, a new full-color series that tells of  a massive threat to all 52 of the known universes in the DC world. Created by superstar comics writer Grant Morrison (Animal Man and so much more…), the story goes like this: “The Multiversity is more than just a multi-part comic-book series. It’s a cosmos spanning, soul-shaking experience that puts YOU on the frontline in the Battle for All Creation against the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry!  In issue #1, pencilled by superstar artist Ivan Reis (Aquaman, Justice League), President Superman of Earth-23 uncovers a threat to all Reality so apocalyptic it will take a team of incredible heroes from across the Multiverse to face it – including Captain Carrot, like you’ve never seen him before!” Oh really now? Over at The Escapist they have a more complete review of the series.

image c. 2014 DC Comics

image c. 2014 DC Comics

30 Years of Bunny and Blade

You might have heard that Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai is turning 30, yes? The word is getting around. Well in celebration of this milestone Dark Horse Press will release The Usagi Yojimbo Saga, a collection of more than 600 pages coming this October. It brings together Usagi Yojimbo Volume 2 issues 1 thru 16 and Volume 3 issues 1 thru 6, as well as a full-color cover gallery. Check out the Dark Horse web page to find out more. Saga will be available as a (very thick!) trade paperback, and also in a limited-edition hardcover version (only 900 will be made!) signed by Stan Sakai himself.

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

image c. 2014 Dark Horse Press

Usagi on the Big Screen?

At this year’s San Diego Comic Con there was a 30 year celebration of Usagi Yojimbo — created by Stan Sakai, of course. One of the items featured during the event was a screening of Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request, an animated short film created by Lintika Films (using both 2D and stop motion techniques) and directed by Roel Robles. The big news is that Mr. Sakai was impressed enough with the project that he has allowed the studio to use Last Request as a proof-of-concept film for a possible Usagi feature. Now they’re out seeking funds to work on that project. Over at Cartoon Brew they have an article about the project that also includes a link to the short.

image c. 2014 Lintika Films

image c. 2014 Lintika Films

He’s Cool, He’s Rad, He Has A Flea Collar

Well not really (at least the last bit). This September Boom! Box Studios brings us the premier of Teen Dog, a new full-color comic book series by Australian web cartoonist Jake Lawrence. Here’s an introduction from the web site Comic Vine: “Teen Dog is the cool guy you always wanted to be in high school, à la Michael J. Fox and Ferris Bueller, except he’s a dog in a rad denim vest. Each issue contains short vignettes featuring Teen Dog, his best friend Mariella, Thug Pug, Sara the star quarterback, and many more. Teen angst and whimsical adventures collide in this new series that combines the feel of John Hughes movies with ‘90s Nickelodeon cartoons.”

image c. 2014 Boom! Box

image c. 2014 Boom! Box

Help! My Son Is In 3D…

Chris Callahan is a writer and artists who has worked for several years in the animation industry. Evidently, he has something to say about it… Check out his new comic book creation, Robochuck: “With the introduction of computer-generated characters, the World Of Entertainment”s population is now sharply divided between two types of cartoon characters: the Flats and the CGs. In Flattown, Robochuck is the only CG character most of his neighbors know.  He dreams of restoring his city to its glory days, when flat toons like his adoptive father, Inksplat MaGee, were the world’s biggest stars. However, one person in the World of Entertainment will do anything to keep that from happening.  As Chairman of Piczar, Don Masshurter developed the computer technology that changed the landscape of animated entertainment, and he will stop at nothing to protect his new reign…” Nope, no reflection on the real world here at all, nope. So go ahead, check out the Robochuck web site. We won’t tell anyone!

image c. 2014 by Chris Callahan

image c. 2014 by Chris Callahan